The dream matchup the Madden NFL world waited for all season finally will happen, and in the game's premier event.
Second-seeded, 17-year-old Peyton "Dez" Tuma overcame four interceptions and withstood a late rally to top Shay "Kiv" Kivlen 14-13 in the Ultimate Madden Bowl semifinals Thursday in Redwood City, Calif., punching his ticket to the championship game on Monday.
Waiting for him there will be top-seeded Henry "Henry" Leverette, the most decorated player in Madden history. All three Madden qualifying tournaments this year were won by either Dez or Henry, but the two have yet to face off.
The Ultimate Madden Bowl is a 14-person tournament, with competitors earning berths through a series of Madden Championship Series qualifying tournaments. All 14 players pocket at least $30,000, with the champion taking home the $250,000 grand prize and coveted championship belt.
After last week's first-round games, the quarterfinals and semifinals took place this week in Redwood City -- with one half of the bracket completed Wednesday and the other half Thursday.
Playing as the Bengals and trailing 14-13, Kiv decided to go for it on fourth-and-3 from the 18-yard line of Dez's Bills, passing on a shot at a go-ahead field goal. But Dez broke up the pass and took over possession, then picked up a pair of first downs to run out the clock.
Dez began his day with a much easier contest, rolling past No. 10 Christopher "Cole" Anthony's Chargers 42-24 in the day's first quarterfinal.
In the second quarterfinal, Kiv did opt to go for a game-winning kick, albeit with far less time on the clock. His 49-yard field goal with Justin Tucker broke a tie with three seconds left as he moved past No. 11 Daniel "Dcroft" Mycroft's Seahawks 20-17.
Ultimate Madden Bowl
No. 2 Peyton "Dez" Tuma 42, No. 10 Christopher "Cole" Anthony 24
No. 14 Shay "Kiv" Kivlen 20, No. 11 Daniel "Dcroft" Mycroft 17
Dez 14, Kiv 13
Ultimate Madden Bowl prize money
3-4. $100.000 -- Jacob "Fancy" Worthington, Shay "Kiv" Kivlen
5-8. $55,000 -- Jacob "Cobo" Clause, David "David" Tempellini, Christopher "Cole" Anthony, Daniel "Dcroft" Mycroft
9-14. $30,000 -- John "Mr Football 88" Britt, Noah "Noahupnxt" Johnson, Jack "JackOregon" Hodson
--Field Level Media